Census Consensus: ‘Citizenship’ Would Be A Headache For Advertising, Media – MediaPost

March 28, 2018. MediaPost by Joe Mandase.- Obvious partisan political implications aside, the Trump White House’s push to add a “citizenship” question to the U.S. Census raises big issues for the world of marketing, advertising and media. Specifically, much of the industry’s most representative research is either based on or weighted to U.S. Census estimates of the size and composition of the population. If, as opponents fear, requiring people to state their citizenship creates a non-respondent bias among some people — especially illegal aliens, or fearful legal aliens — it will distort the representation of the population in the U.S. Census estimates and all the research benchmarked to it.

March 28, 2018. MediaPost by Joe Mandase.- Obvious partisan political implications aside, the Trump White House’s push to add a “citizenship” question to the U.S. Census raises big issues for the world of marketing, advertising and media.

Specifically, much of the industry’s most representative research is either based on or weighted to U.S. Census estimates of the size and composition of the population. If, as opponents fear, requiring people to state their citizenship creates a non-respondent bias among some people — especially illegal aliens, or fearful legal aliens — it will distort the representation of the population in the U.S. Census estimates and all the research benchmarked to it.

“A non-citizen who is here legally would probably comply. A non-citizen who is not here legally might well not comply and that is the problem,” says Richard Zackon, a long-time industry researcher and principal of Audience Patterns LLC.

Immigrant populations are an integral part of the overall consumer growth in the U.S. keeping many industries booming and many others from declines. The proposed Census question on citizenship status would be extremely detrimental to commerce and business growth since a count with higher than usual margin of error would create inaccurate universes at all levels: from neighborhoods to trade areas to a national basis,” asserts Carlos Santiago, President  and Chief Strategist of Santiago Solutions Group and a co-founder of the Association of National Advertisers’ Alliance for Multicultural & Inclusive Marketing (AIMM).

“As most consumer research in America is typically weighed and projected against the decennial Census, the repercussions of an inaccurate baseline would be passed on to businesses hurting their ability to make sound investment decisions for new stores, new products, media investments, communications and outreach strategies impacting everything consumers purchase including health care, banking, home sales, cars, services, etc.,” says Santiago, a 25-year vet of segment marketing.

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